The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team posted a .372 hitting percentage, including a blistering .800 clip in the first frame, en route to a straight-set sweep of Barton College in Conference Carolinas play on
Sunday afternoon in Williams Gymnasium. Lees-McRae (9-7, 4-3 CC) won the match by scores of 25-15, 25-19, and 25-20, holding Barton (0-15, 0-8 CC) to a .159 clip on the attack while recording 39 kills, 23 digs, and six blocks of its own. The Bobcats did not make an attacking error in the first set, posting 16 kills in 20 attempts.
Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) paced the Bobcats with a match-high nine kills, posting a hitting percentage of .615 as Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) added seven smashes on 14 attempts. Houston Callaway (Thurmond, N.C.) chipped in five kills on six attempts, while Dylan Kembre (West Chester, Ohio) and Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) posted 17 and 12 assists, respectively.
Kembre also recorded a match-high three blocks (one solo, two assists), as Edmund Walkley (Glenbrook, Australia) posted two solo blocks. Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) added a match-high eight digs for the Bobcats.
Zach McCalla led the way for Barton with nine kills, as Alex Draughan and Jordan Robison each added eight smashes. Chandler Thomas posted a match-high 22 assists, while McCalla chipped in eight digs.
Lees-McRae started off strong in the first set, opening an early 14-7 lead on a Bulldog miscue before pushing the margin to 20-11 with a 6-4 spurt. The Bobcats would close out the frame on a Bulldog miscue following a kill by Callaway.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second frame, breaking a 4-4 deadlock with a 13-5 run to take a 17-9 advantage on back-to-back miscues by the Bulldogs. Barton would rally with a 6-2 spurt, cutting the lead to 19-15 on a service ace by Tyler Malpass before the Bobcats answered with a 5-0 run, pushing the lead to 24-15 following a Kembre smash. After Barton fought off four straight set points to trim the margin to 24-19, Harpenau capped the frame with a kill.
Barton countered early in the third set, taking a 6-2 lead on a Robison kill before the Bobcats answered with an 11-3 run, taking a 13-9 advantage on a solo block by Walkley. The Bulldogs would respond with a 4-1 spurt, trimming the margin to 14-13 on a McCalla block. After the Bobcats stretched the advantage to 19-16 following a Flood kill, Draughan answered with back-to-back smashes for Barton to cut the lead to 19-18. The Bobcats countered with a 6-2 run, closing out the set and the match on a smash by Flood.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host Washington Adventist University in non-conference play at 1:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Flood, LMC Athletics